MONKEE #55 - WRENCHMONKEES, Copenhagen, Denmark29th December 2012
This inspirational Showcase Yamaha XJR 1300 is the latest build from Danish custom motorcycle builders 'Wrenchmonkees' in Copenhagen. Yamaha got in contact with WM to commission a Monkee Bike custom build, the specified time frame was three months to build the custom XJR. It was a great honour for WM to take on such a project from Yamaha, in the past WM has earned a great reputation for working on older Yamaha motorcycles, such as the classic XS650 twin, and also the SR500 single. So to take on the challenge of working on a new motorcycle was a real plus for WM.
As we all know customising new motorcycles can be very difficult and also limiting, due to certain controlling features such as Sensors, Emission controlling devices, wiring etc. Plus there are quite a lot of parts on modern bikes that are just not meant to be seen, so aesthetically these parts are not pleasing to the eye.
The Great thing about the Yamaha XJR 1300 is that it's a pure muscle bike, with great retrolistic styling, which makes the bike an ideal candidate for a project like this one. Taking into consideration that a large heavyweight motorcycle like this would be a most excellent challenge to restyle into a Cafe Racer. One of the first things WM wanted to change was the standard XJR1300 front forks, the decision was made to fit a new set of YZF R1 inverted forks along with Triple trees to boot.
Another thing WM wanted to change was the wheels, the first choice was a pair of YZF R1 rims; which unfortunately did not give the bike that most wanted flare of a Cafe Racer, so it was decided that a new pair of custom built stainless spoked rims would be the key.
The rim sizes are 19”rim on the front , and a 18” rim at the rear. Both rims are finished in Gloss black Powder coat then fitted with Metzeler ME880 Tires. The rear Ohlins dampers have been painted to match the colour theme of bike.. At the front of the XJR are a pair of stock six pot R1 callipers along with stock front rotors, the rotor carriers have been machined by WM, pumping the brake fluid to the front stoppers is a Magura master brake cylinder with WM custom Stainless steel Brake lines to match. The bike is controlled by a set of nicely engineered WM clip on handle bars, A bespoke set of billet aluminum Rear sets wear engineered to allow the bike to have better ground clearance for better cornering manoeuvres.
WM really did not have to alter the engine's performance due to the massive torque produced from the XJR in-line four, which is more than adequate for the job intended., so the Air cooled Engine has been left as stock. The engine side covers have been replaced with a ultra-light aluminium finned side cover kit which looks really good. The oil cooler hoses have also been replaced with WM stainless braided hoses. Also to help give the bike that 'Old School' look, a set of alloy Bellmouths have been fitted to the Fuel injectors.
The Exhaust system headers have been custom made from stainless steel by WM which look totally mint, also fitted is a complete with a set of new stainless SPARK Mufflers. The idea was to keep the exhaust system in a similar style like the older XJR. Instead of the 4-1 system used on the later model.
At the rear of the subframe has been shortened to suit the WM designed Single seat cowl, which now cleverly hides a custom made aluminum box which now contains the bikes ignition system and electrics. The air box has been removed and also the original battery has been replaced with a smaller Lithium battery which is now located at the rear of the engine underneath the swinging arm.
When it came down to the colour scheme for the bike, WM wanted to go for something a little lower key but yet unusual at the same time. The Tank and Seat cowl have been finished in Dark Olive green with a slight metallic flake, the engine and swing arm have been finished in a similar shade, although WM wanted something really unusual for the frame, so they decided sandblast the frame, then set fire to it which has given this cool looking burnt metal effect to the whole thing.
Overall the guys at Wrenchmonkees wanted to create a bike that would inspire other riders to modify their own machines, we can safely say that this latest XJR1300 Cafe Racer build does exactly that... we will look forward to covering more features from the Wrenchmonkees in the near future.
Article: Si Mason SYB Magazine - Photography: Courtesy Wrenchmonkees, Copenhagen, Denmark.